Sustainability


We do not see sustainability as separate to our core business, nor do we see it as a discrete set of issues that need to be 'managed'

Sustainability

At Vodacom, our sustainability journey is our business journey. We do not see sustainability as separate to our core business, nor do we see it as a discrete set of issues that need to be ‘managed’. Rather, we continue to unlock value in our business by using it as a lens through which to identify the risks and opportunities that affect our ability to continue to add value to our stakeholders and to fulfil our purpose. It is this belief that has informed the approach to our sustainability strategy.

Our industry is fast-paced and exciting, with an ever-increasing rate of change and increasing complexity. The issues that matter to our business and our stakeholders will continue to evolve, as will our strategy to deal with them. The priorities and initiatives will live and grow with these changing times, and it this flexibility that we have built into the design of the strategy process. We will continue to engage our people and external stakeholders for the issues that matter most to them, and develop a response that moves our business forward and fulfils our purpose in society.

We live out Vodacom’s commitment to sustainability through the decisions we make and actions we take on a daily basis. Our sustainability priorities guide the issues that we dedicate our attention to because they are important to our stakeholders and our business strategy. We have embedded key performance indicators into the various aspects of how we manage our business while enhancing our ability to track the impact of the different initiatives and to report back to stakeholders on our performance.

Our strategic sustainability priorities

1   Deliver exceptional network quality
2   Deliver superior customer value and protect our customers' data and privacy
3   Continue to innovate in the way we do business
4   Increase penetration in existing markets and expand into new markets
5   Manage the environmental footprint of business
6   Create and sustain value in the communities and markets in which we operate
7   Provide a stimulating and rewarding environment for our people
8   Proactively engage with our key stakeholders
9   Ensure the protection and furtherment of human rights
10   Embed the highest principles of corporate governance, including the promotion of ethical practices and anti-corruption

Environmental contribution

As one of the leading companies in Africa, we aim to use our products and services to transform people's lives and contribute to more sustainable living in the countries within which we operate.

We believe we can help to build a more sustainable future by delivering products and services that enable positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our stakeholders worldwide.

To achieve our goals of transforming societies and enabling sustainable living for all, we balance business performance and activities with responsible behaviour, especially in protecting the environment and the health and safety of our employees and contractors.

We are committed to minimising our environmental impact and contributing to protecting the environment by working with our stakeholders, such as customers and suppliers, to help them reduce their own carbon footprint. Through machine-to-machine ('M2M') connections, our business customers can drastically improve their efficiency and cut CO2 emissions.

With our efforts to manage the environmental footprint of our business in the last year, we achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions of 10% per base station and our investments in energy efficiency measures in the network (core and access), data centres and offices are paying off.

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We deliver transformational services and remain committed to extending the coverage of our networks to create tangible socio-economic benefits, while simultaneously building our customer base.

We’re working to diversify our product offerings by launching non-traditional services, such as financial services.

Given the high levels of financial exclusion and limited financial infrastructure in our markets, financial services are becoming a key revenue driver for us. M-Pesa, our mobile money transfer service, is growing strongly in our International operations, especially in Tanzania where the number of transactions continues to increase.

We partner with stakeholders in all our operations, including governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs’) and community groups, to identify opportunities to make a positive social impact.

Social contribution reports
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We believe we can help to build a more sustainable future by delivering products and services that enable positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our stakeholders worldwide.

ICT penetration drives economic growth, which creates employment, which in turn drives growth. In all the countries within which we operate, we create value for all our stakeholders by:

Investing in our business

Providing high-quality networks is the foundation of a truly differentiated customer experience, helping us to retain existing customers and attract new customers. We invested R 10 779 million (2013: R9 456 million) in capital expenditure to build and maintain high quality networks in all our operations as the foundation for reliable voice and data services.

Contributing to our countries

Vodacom plays an important role in helping to develop the economies of the countries in which it operates. We are a major investor, taxpayer, employer and purchaser of local goods and services. We also make a vital contribution to the delivery of governments’ policy objectives through our substantial capital expenditure in building the next generation of digital infrastructure.

Our corporate tax contributions amounted to R 5 194 million (R5 337m in 2013) to public finances through corporate taxes, which account for only a portion of our many direct and indirect contributions to public finances in the countries in which we operate.

Investing in our people

Our 7 225 employees are vital to our performance and success. We continue to develop our people to meet the requirements of our business. Moreover, we engage with them and use our annual People Survey to track how engaged, well managed and included our employees feel.

One of the most important ways in which we invest in our people is through our talent programmes. We distributed R 4 609 million (R4 427m in 2013) to our employees in salaries, short- and long-term incentives and contributions to pension funds and medical aid schemes.

Returns for our providers of finance

Our equity shareholders and debt funders received R13 149 million (2013: R12 697 million) of the value we created: R12 098 million in dividends and R1 051 million in interest respectively.

By investing in and funding Vodacom, we are able to make the investments necessary to support our growth and deliver the best networks and in turn return value to our providers of finance.